Marshall Goldsmith, the best-selling author and executive coach, offers everyone a simple reminder: Stop basing your happiness in what you’ve achieved and accept that your happiness is always within you.
Too many successful people, Goldsmith says, spend their lives so focused on their achievements they never feel happy. Some people spend too much time pursuing projects and goals based on how others will perceive them instead of doing what makes them happy. “Don’t become attached to the outcomes of what you want to achieve,” says Goldsmith, whose latest book is “The Earned Life: Loose Regret, Choose Fulfillment. “You have to be happy to be happy and achieve to achieve. … They are independent of each other.”
As he explains, there are three areas that shape people’s behavior: aspirations, ambition, and actions. There are those who have lofty dreams and spend all their time “lost in their aspirations,” but have no plan or process in place to achieve them. There are those who spend their time on plans, but never really accomplish them. There are those focused on ambition. These are the kinds of executives Goldsmith works with quite often. They have combined all of these characteristics to fuel their success.
These executives also have great courage, humility, and discipline. They have embraced the process on a daily basis to identify what they do well, what they didn’t do well and where they need help. Goldsmith believes in a Life Plan Review, like Alan Mulally’s (former President and CEO of Boeing & Ford Motor Company) Business Plan Review. In this case, Goldsmith wants challenge people to ask themselves these tough questions, rate themselves daily, and record and track their progress at the end of each week. This process, Goldsmith says, creates accountability for them and gives them specific insights into how to improve.
Goldsmith is so passionate about his efforts that he has launched the 100 Coaches initiative where he is coaching a selected group of individuals so that they pass on their lessons to someone else. “I just want to pay it forward,” Goldsmith says.
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